Trivia

Hard

Tim Burton Was Fired From Disney Over Which Of These Animated Shorts?

Frankenweenie
Vincent
Hansel and Gretel
The Island of Doctor Agor
A title screen for the movie Frankenweenie.
The Walt Disney Company

Answer: Frankenweenie

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Walt Disney animation department was undergoing some serious growing pains. Old guard animators and filmmakers were retiring (or, sadly, dying off) and Disney was replacing them with new talent—talent that often had different ideas about animation compared to the previous generation.

One of those filmmakers was a young Tim Burton, full of creative ideas that were, well, as Tim Burton’esque as you’d imagine. Tim Burton being Tim Burton—now internationally known for dark films like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, and Corpse Bride, among others—was just a bit too dark for 1980s-era Disney. Things came to a head when Burton created his short film Frankenweenie in 1984. Disney executives thought the film was a waste of resources and too scary to show to children.

They showed him the door and Burton went on to film greatness directing an impressive collection of brilliant films over the years. Then in a great twist that brings our story full circle, in 2012, his short film Frankenweenie was turned into a full-length feature film produced in collaboration with none other than Walt Disney Studios.

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